Car show to benefit Women’s Center

Event commemorates Marquette woman who died in 2015

Jessica Drummond is pictured with her dog Kahlua in a photograph taken during the summer of 2015. Police said Drummond was killed, along with her best friend, in an apparent double murder-suicide carried out by her boyfriend in November 2015. The family has organized a memorial event in Marquette, “Classic Cars on Third Street,” from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday to benefit the Women’s Center. (Photo courtesy of Tammy Dupras)

MARQUETTE — Almost two years after an apparent Thanksgiving double-murder-suicide that shocked the region, the family of Jessica Drummond — who police believe was slain, along with her best friend and unborn child, by her boyfriend — is still struggling with the loss.

“It’s still real tough, real tough,” said Tammy Dupras, Drummond’s mother. “I could probably start crying now. It is, it’s fresh in our memories.”

Tammy and Bill Dupras are trying to create something positive out of the tragedy that stole so much from them, by giving a gift to other women who might be facing similar instances of domestic violence.

That’s why their inaugural event, “Classic Cars on Third Street,” will benefit the Women’s Center and Harbor House, which serves survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Marquette and Alger counties.

The car show will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday on Third Street in Marquette between Hewitt Avenue and Park Street. Car registration begins at 10 a.m. and costs $5.

Double Trouble DJs will provide music, and volunteers from the Women’s Center will run a 50-50 raffle, with tickets drawn on the hour. T-shirts and other merchandise for the event will also be on sale.

Registrants will be able to vote for their favorite cars, and a total of 55 trophies will be awarded with the top one for “Best of Show” and another one for “Mayor’s Choice.” The winners will be announced at about 3:30 p.m., Dupras said.

Drummond, 22, was living in Marquette Township with her longtime best friend Brodie Dagenais, 22, and 26-year-old boyfriend Charles Masterson, the father of the child she was carrying, when on Nov. 26, 2015, a domestic dispute culminated in Masterson fatally shooting Drummond and Dagenais before turning the gun on himself, according to police.

Tammy Dupras said the conflict arose from Masterson wanting Drummond to end her pregnancy, though she didn’t want to. At that time she and Dagenais were trying to have Masterson move out, Dupras said.

“With our particular example, you know, I don’t know that she would’ve actually gone to the Women’s Center. She had her family here to run to if things were that bad, and I don’t think she wanted to admit they were,” Dupras said.

But for other women in difficult situations with less support, the Women’s Center can offer a life-saving service.

“I just think of the women that, especially young (women), that don’t have a chance in the world and don’t know where to go to,” Dupras said. “Just to know that there is help out there, especially if you don’t have money or you’re working a minimum wage job and you just feel trapped. … Just knowing there might be someone out there to help you and get your feet on the ground again.”

Dupras said they chose a car show because they’re a family of car buffs, and it was something they always wanted for Marquette. She said cars were always a big part of their lives and Drummond’s.

“Jessica’s real father, he passed away years ago, he was a car buff too, so she always grew up around a garage with cars and people talking cars, so that was part of it too, and she liked to drive neat things,” Dupras said.

The Marquette Downtown Development Authority has helped coordinate the event.

DDA Promotions and Events Coordinator Tara Laase-McKinney said the event has already raised about $10,000, but the ultimate amount is yet to be seen.

Response has been very positive, with the event expected to draw people from across the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin, Laase-McKinney said.

She added it’s been great working with the Dupras.

“They’ve really put their heart and soul into this event, and you know, it shows,” Laase-McKinney said. “You can tell they’re really excited for this event. It’s going to be a good day for sure.”

Dupras, who with her family owns the Third Base Bar, said Jessica (Dupras) Darcy will be working at the bar Saturday and will be donating all of her tips from noon to 8 p.m. to the Women’s Center in her step-sister’s memory.

Mary Wardell can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is mwardell@miningjournal.net.